Vegan Trends & Predictions 2022

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 12 months (and if you were, then no judgement!) we’re sure you will have noticed the meteoric rise in the number of plant-based options in supermarkets, restaurants, and other food outlets across the world. None more so than here in the UK.

We’ve seen everything from vegan butcher shops, cheesemongers, and fish and chip shops, through to a newfound love of mushrooms as a healthier alternative to meat, and everything in between.

And it all kicked off in January when 582,000 people from 209 countries signed up for, and participated in, the official Veganuarycampaign.

The 2021 campaign was the biggest yet for the Veganuary team with a 46% increase in the number of signups from the year before. What’s more…

“Data from Kantar suggests that each year ten times more people actually participate and try vegan in January than register through the Veganuary website. That would mean more than five million people took part in the 2021 campaign year.”[1]

Not only did the number of participants increase in 2021, but so did the number of businesses who participated which reached into the thousands launching over 570 new vegan products, and adding over 260 vegan options to restaurant menus.

The Veganuary 2022 campaign officially launched on 8th December. Based on the fact that numbers have increased by 50% on average each year, it was predicted that the numbers for 2022 will be closer to 800,000 thanks to increased awareness, health concerns, and environmental impacts discussed at COP26.

So what else can we expect to see on the cards for the plant-based food market over the next 12 months?

Vegan Trends for 2022

We’ve identified five key trends to keep an eye on in 2022. They are:

  • Innovative milk alternatives using potatoes or barley

  • Vegan pork alternatives become more widely available

  • The quality of dairy-free milk chocolate will improve dramatically

  • We’ll see more, high-quality cakes, bakes and pastries on supermarket shelves

  • Demand for vegan seafood alternatives will continue to grow

We probably didn’t think that we’d need any more milk alternatives, but companies like DUG Drinks and Bright Barley, which we featured in our Health and Wellness Trends for 2022, are finding sustainable ways of upcycling waste produce into new, tasty alternatives to animal milk.

Vegan pork products like OmniPork have proven incredibly popular in Asia and North America, and are now starting to get shelf space here in the UK. But there aren’t really any other brands in this category so it’s a great opportunity for some healthy competition.

In the sweet treats space, we’ve seen a number of plant-based chocolate products launch in 2021, including Cadbury’s long-awaited almond-based alternative to Dairy Milk. Next year, brands will be focusing on quality over quantity, improving existing recipes and meeting customer demands.

Finally, we’ll see the vegan seafood category continue to grow. We also featured this category on our list of vegan trends to watch in 2021 and several new brands were launched, as expected, which has increased consumer interest and opened doors for new product development. Definitely, one to watch.

How brands should prepare for Veganuary

Now, as you can probably imagine, the plant-based market is highly competitive. In fact, there is more competition now than ever.

In order for brands to make an impact with consumers, especially during Veganuary, they have to get creative. Here are some key marketing strategies to consider.

  • Heavy investment in paid social media advertising, with a focus on video content

  • Identify brand champions from within your company and deploy an employee advocacy scheme to encourage sharing and engagement across multiple platforms

  • Collaborate with celebrities and influencers to promote your brand and its products, maximising on their audiences to increase awareness

  • Encourage your existing followers to generate their own content – recipes, photos, videos, etc. – featuring your products, and then resharing them on your official platforms

  • Register to be an official participant in the Veganuary campaign – unfortunately, the deadline has passed for 2022, but be sure to get your interest in early for the next campaign – as a great way to get free marketing for your brand

As an official participant, you will get access to a wide range of marketing assets to help boost your brand’s awareness in the run-up to and during the January campaign. Why not check out Veganuary’s Business Support Toolkit for 2022 here for inspiration.

In-store promotion during the campaign is one of the most effective tools, with corporate participants being able to use the Veganuary name and logo on their packaging and points of sale.

Supermarkets, like Tesco and Asda here in the UK, have also used the Veganuary campaign assets to highlight plant-based items in feature locations throughout their stores, as well as creating special offers and in-store promotions to boost sales.

Finally, brands can increase exposure during the campaign through press and media outlets throughout the month of January. In 2021, Veganuary was featured in mainstream media every day during the campaign, with 1,500 stories published around the world.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get ready for another great Veganuary! Why? Because the vegans are coming.

Need help marketing your plant-based products for Veganuary 2022? Then get in touch with a member of the Bolst Global team today.

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